Douglas van den Berghe (PhD) is the CEO and founder of Investment Consulting Associates – ICA headquartered in Amsterdam and Boston with partner offices around the world and founder of two web based FDI advisory products: www.locationselector.com (powered by the Economist Intelligence Unit – EIU) and www.ICAincentives.com (currently named: www.IncentivesMonitor.com). He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Erasmus University Rotterdam – Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) and was previously a Director at Ernst & Young and Economic Affairs Officer at UNCTAD. As a management and strategy consultant, he has assisted many corporate clients in successfully implementing their global investment strategies, their location selection, as well as optimizing their global supply chains across the world. Some of his corporate clients include Shell, Philips, Electrolux, HB Fuller, Appvion, John Deere, Johnson Controls, Knowles, Appnovation Technologies, and ING.
He is considered one of the leading global experts on FDI, location strategy and offshore strategies, investment incentives, SEZs, and how to develop FDI policies for economic development and increase competitiveness. He has been an advisor to numerous governments, free zones, and investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in countries in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America and various organizations including UNCTAD, UNDP, World Bank, USAID, OECD, US State Department and the EU. Douglas has also guest lectured at Harvard Business School, Rotterdam School of Management, Nijenrode University and published in several academic journals such as the International Business Review, Transnational Corporations, and Business Strategy Review. He has worked in many countries including EU-27, Central America, Albania, Australia, China, Ghana, India, Jordan, Iraq, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, and Turkey. In addition, he has the following sector expertise: electronics, consumer products, financial services, automotive, oil and gas, chemicals, and IT.
Douglas is currently advising multiple countries in emerging and frontier markets on their investment and incentives policies and free zones. Douglas recently led major projects to build the capacity of countries and regions to attract FDI. He is also the founder of the FDI Academy Training Program of ICA: FDIexecutive™ that has successfully been rolled out in numerous countries. Douglas is also a guest speaker at numerous conferences around the world including UNCTAD World Forum for Investment, Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), International Economic Development Council (IEDC) annual conference, World Forum for FDI, CAIPA Investment Forum, World Free Zone Convention and many local conferences.
Chris Steele has over twenty (20) years of business, economic development, and location strategy experience. His background in a small city planning firm, a Big-Four consulting services firm (Ernst & Young LLP), and a world-class engineering and supply chain company (TranSystems Corporation) have resulted in a unique perspective on how the concept of place impacts business and community success around the globe.
Chris earned his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University and began his career in urban planning and location strategy as a land use planner with Kasler Barovick & Associates in Hackensack, NJ. Chris gained a significant background in land use planning, real estate development, environmental preservation, and affordable housing which he has subsequently used as a foundation for advising his corporate and public sector clients.
His later experience in diverse industries, service areas, and countries has given him the ability to build networks that cover a wide variety of client needs. He has worked on projects as high-profile as Boeing’s selection of Chicago for its Headquarters, a strategy for pharmaceutical production in Singapore and Malaysia, and as everyday as a food processing expansion in rural West Virginia. He has also led several major economic and community development projects, including a thorough evaluation and the State of Maine’s incentive and R&D investment programs, economic and community development plans for Elkhart, IN; Roanoke, VA; Ellsworth, ME; and Columbus, OH.
Mr. Steele has written on location strategy and real estate topics for Area Development, Business Expansion Journal, Site Selection Online Insider, and the Journal of Corporate Real Estate, and served as an editor for Ernst & Young’s United States Investment Monitor. He is an active member of the Industrial Asset Management Council, the International Economic Development Council, a frequent presenter at CoreNet’s global summits, and is on the Massachusetts Chapter of NAIOP’s Program and Growth Committees. Mr. Steele has also been a past presenter at the annual summits of the Economic Development Association of British Columbia and the Economic Development Association of Canada.
Prior to establishing CWS Consulting Group (now ICA), Mr. Steele served as the Line of Business President – Real Estate for TranSystems Corporation. He also served as the Director for Location Advisory Services at ADP Mintax, and was an integral part of the Ernst & Young Real Estate Advisory Services practice for over eleven (11) years.
Born in South Africa and based in The Netherlands, Zoë is an FDI expert and ICA’s international business developer, project and marketing director.
Her responsibilities include marketing ICA’s services, brand management, project management, business development and providing seminars and trainings as well as supporting private and public sector clients with branding and marketing their investment location through (digital) marketing, PR and social media strategies.
Countries worked in/for include: Netherlands, United States., United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Belgium, Mexico, South Africa, Cayman Islands, Uruguay, Bangladesh, Panama, Qatar, Iraq, Curaçao and St. Lucia.
The focus of Laurens’ expertise is incentives strategies and incentives maximization, developing customized incentives advice and performing comprehensive incentives benchmarks for both corporate and public sector (e.g. IPAs, EDOs) clients. In conjunction with the Vale Center of the Colombia University (US) and Utrecht University (The Netherlands), among others, Laurens contributed to several academic publications on the efficiency and trends of investment incentives and the debate revolving around the implementation of business-attracting subsidies and regional economic competitiveness. Recently, he co-published an article in Area Development, entitled “Well-Designed Incentives: Not a Zero-Sum Game”, which addresses current trends and challenges in incentive programs.
Recently, Laurens has worked on an OECD publication exploring Free Zone practices and developments across the MENA region and formulated directions for socio-economic sustainable Free Zone policy frameworks. Earlier this year, Laurens provided a workshop on how to use incentives as means of investment attraction and promotion for Free Zone authorities during the first annual World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) Conference in Dubai.
Laurens has worked on a real estate project for a US Fortune Global 500 company, thereby supporting the implementation of a new business model. As a project leader, he organized site visits with local teams, evaluated potential real estate portfolios and presented a shortlist to the client throughout a wide range of US states, varying from southern Arizona and eastern Kansas to Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Ohio and southern Michigan. Other corporate experiences include assisting Appnovation Technologies, Purac, Appvion and Federal Mogul in optimizing their global and European incentives strategies as part of their site selection processes as well as negotiating their incentive potential.
Corporate engagements include assisting multinationals with locating their Greenfield investments and optimizing incentives strategies as part of their site selection processes. Apart from supporting corporate clients with their incentives strategies, Laurens has also been engaged in multiple governmental projects throughout the world. His project experience in this field includes developing tailor-made incentives policies, studies on regional integration and incentives frameworks, evaluation of agricultural incentives, positioning International Financial Centers for FDI and analyzing incentives in high-risk investment environments.
Laurens has worked in many countries including EU-27, the Channel Islands, the Middle East (amongst others, Jordan, Palestine Authority and the United Arab Emirates), Kazakhstan, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the United States. Laurens has advised numerous governments, Free Zone authorities and Investment Promotion Agencies in Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Central Asia and Southeast Asia as well as various international organizations, including UNCTAD, UN-ESCAP and OECD.
Collin Perciballi is the Economic Development Advisor for Investment Consulting Associates (ICA). Collin’s first experience with Economic Development took place at the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, where he helped found and direct the Escarosa Business Continuity Initiative. The Initiative was designed to be a roundtable of public and private entities working to improve the business resiliency of the Escarosa area.
Prior to working at ICA, Mr. Perciballi worked for FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance. In that role, he managed the Gulf Coast Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), a business incubator designed to support start-up companies achieve success by offering coaching, mentorship, and low overhead costs. Subsequently, Collin increased the occupancy of the CIE while also creating new procedures to improve its operational efficiency and design.
He holds an MBA from the University of Bologna Business School and an MA from the European Union’s Erasmus Mundus TEMA Programme, which analyses the history and development of European territories through a multi-disciplinary approach. As a result, he has obtained an international perspective with language skills in English, Italian, and French.
Richard K. Greene has consulted with corporations for over 20 years and is known for creative and innovative solutions. As a senior manager with Ernst & Young, he defined expansion strategy and workforce assessments for companies entering new markets in the Americas, Asia and Europe. For companies seeking to reduce operational costs, his work has brought additional value in re-engineering and consolidation. For communities trying to reinvent themselves in the face of economic change, he has shown how industry needs can be met through workforce capabilities and other regional competitive advantages. Richard has worked in numerous industries including airlines, financial services, green manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, semiconductors, telecommunications and white goods and with a variety of corporate activities including call centers, data centers, distribution centers, headquarters, manufacturing plants and shared service centers.
Charles Krakoff, Senior Associate with Investment Consulting Associates, is founder and Managing Partner of Koios Associates – www.koiosllc.com – a U.S. firm specialized in investment and trade in emerging and frontier markets. He has over 25 years of experience helping companies develop and implement strategies to enter, expand, invest, raise capital, and source in emerging markets worldwide, and helping governments and government agencies develop and implement strategies to attract foreign investment and increase exports, as well as on organizational restructuring, change management, and capacity development programs. He is an expert in development of industrial and techno-parks, special economic zones and free trade zones, and has advised both governments and developers on strategy, feasibility assessments, environmental impacts, contracting, and management. A thought leader in economics and business in emerging economies, Charles writes the Emerging Markets Outlook blog – www.emergingmarketsoutlook.com – and is a frequent contributor to the Seeking Alpha investment blog (www.seekingalpha.com), and he was named one of the top experts and opinion leaders in the 2011 Who’s Who of Wall Street and the U.S. Economy.
Charles started his international business career advising U.S. and European multinationals on market entry and expansion, sourcing, and investment in emerging economies in Asia and the Middle East. Before starting his own firm, Charles headed a pan-African financial and strategic advisory unit for Standard Corporate & Merchant Bank, South Africa, and was a Senior Associate with Abt Associates, a U.S. research and consulting firm, advising on privatization and PPP policies, strategies, and transactions in developing and transition economies in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. He also served as Senior Advisor to a $120-million private equity firm focused on Southern Africa, and co-founded a pan-African online business information company. Charles worked for six years as a consultant to the World Bank Group in the areas of business environment reform, investment and export development, and development of special economic zones. He was also a senior officer with the Botswana Development Corporation, a development financial institution providing equity and debt financing to industrial and infrastructure investment projects. He has advised numerous companies on cross-border investments and acquisitions, and has industry experience in ICT, agribusiness, consumer products, textiles and apparel, transport, mining, media, and financial services.
A recognized expert in international trade, Charles served as Chief of the Office for Africa of the International Trade Centre (WTO/UNCTAD), the technical assistance arm of the World Trade Organization. He has also advised numerous regional trade blocs, including the East African Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Economic Community of West African States, and the Southern African Development Community, on regional integration, trade expansion, and direct investment.
Henry has made a major contribution to expanding our knowledge of FDI, competitiveness, and investment promotion. His landmark publications are widely considered the most authoritative guides on how to attract FDI. They include “A Framework for Investment Promotion” (published by UNCTAD) and “Handbook for Investment Promotion” (published by Columbia University). Henry’s PhD was published by Palgrave titled “Bargaining with Multinationals” and examined how governments and MNCs negotiate over incentives.
He has advised over 100 investment promotion organisations in over 60 countries on how to attract FDI. He has also advised many of the world’s largest companies on their site selection. Henry is an investment promotion expert to the Vale Columbia University Center on Sustainable Development, UNCTAD and the World Bank.
In the area of incentives, Henry has a PhD examining FDI and incenitves and he had led many consulting projects in the area of incenitves, including a very high profile study for the Northern Ireland Department of Trade and Industry (leading to the decision to lower corporate tax in NI), best practices studies of incentives for the Welsh Assembly and many conference presentations and workshops on incentives and FDI. While at PwC, Henry also lead a study for Scottish Enterprise benchmarking Scotland against competitors to secure a major re-investment project. While at PwC, he also led a study for Scottish Enterprise to develop a Financial Services FDI Strategy for Scotland and Henry developed the concept of a financial services value chain which was used successfully by Scottish Enterprise to attract new FDI projects.
Henry co-founded some of the most recognised businesses in the field of FDI, including fDi Intelligence, OCO Consulting, and WAVTEQ. Henry was the original patent holder of the fDi Markets and fDi Benchmark databases, now part of the Financial Times Ltd, and developer of www.IncentivesMonitor.com and www.fdimarkets.com.
Franz Obenaus, Senior Associate with Investment Consulting Associates, was born in 1957 in Vienna. After studying Industrial Plastic Technology, Franz joined Philips Electronics as Development Engineer. In the following years, Franz changed from being Head of Automation, Head of Quality and Head of Technology Development to Industrial Leader for Europe and Asia. In the early 90’s he built up an industrial base in Hungary and Ukraine. In 1994, he built up a factory organization in Penang, Malaysia. From 2000 until 2013, Franz was COO and senior General Manager of Knowles in China where he was responsible for setting up an industrial organization in Beijing. Additionally, he set up technical organizations in Korea and Taiwan in 2006. From 2013 onwards, Franz has been Consultant for industrial set ups in the Far East.